It's been 30 years since Prince released Purple Rain. In addition to our must-read retrospective on the making of Purple Rain, we thought it'd be great to spend the day watching some of his best television performances of the last decade. Submitted for your approval: sound, scientific proof that Prince objectively can still rock the world.
Saturday Night Live (2014)
Note: Looks like NBC has nixed the breakout clip, so just skip ahead to the 26-minute mark and enjoy
Let's work backwards, starting with this year's SNL performance wherein he and backing band du jour 3rdEyeGirl gave us an eight-minute medley with pieces from his new albums Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum. By the time the cast took the stage for the night's final goodbye, Prince had already disappeared into the ether. (For the record, Kwame, Kendrick Lamar also killed it on SNL the next week).
Super Bowl XLI (2007)
Then there was that time he got a whole stadium of football fans to sing along in falsetto. For the Super Bowl XLI Halftime show, Prince offered up a 12-minute blend of his biggest hits and covers of Queen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, and... Foo Fighters. Trust us, it works. This is one of our favorite performances next to Beyonce's 2013 halftime show. Speaking of...
46th Grammy Awards (2004)
The only thing better than Prince singing "Purple Rain" is Prince singing it with Beyoncé in a medley that also included "Baby I'm a Star," "Let's Go Crazy," and Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" (with Prince providing guitar on Bey's hit song of the year) — ending with Prince screaming "don't hate us 'cause we're fabulous," throwing his guitar, and walking a circle around Bey. (Why? Why not?) Beyoncé won five awards that night, Outkast's Speakerboxxx / The Love Below became the first (and so far only) rap album to win Album of the Year, and Prince reportedly disappeared in a puff of white doves.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (2004)
By popular demand, here's that time that Prince proverbially roasted all of rock and roll with his guitar playing on this star-studded ensemble cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". 2004 marked the 20th anniversary of Purple Rain and turned out to be quite the year for Prince TV appearances.